You Can Elope If You Want To: New Lakeland Bridal Boutique Provides Off-the-Rack Options


By Victoria Bardega
Photography by Jordan Randall

St. Petersburg native and bridal shop owner Shantel Griffin says coming to Lakeland to open her second business was fate.

After more than 10 years successfully operating Bearer of the Bling Bridal just outside of St. Petersburg, Elope Bride has become a bridge to serve her Lakeland fanbase and attract additional Lakelanders to her business with exclusive bridal designs.

Whether you’re shopping for an exquisite piece to go with a sexy gown or find a classic showstopper, Elope carries unique styles for the everyday bride.

Since opening at 947 Florida Ave. S. in the summer of 2023, Elope Bride has offered new bridal dresses that exude creativity and flare.

“All of our designs are exclusive to the Lakeland area so we can best serve our clients with unique, different designs. We work with a private design house who creates everything: from floral dresses to black gowns to short dresses and long gowns––everything in between,” explains Shantel.

Keeping a close eye on opportunities to expand her entrepreneurial reach in Lakeland, Shantel remembers the reasons that made her fall in love with our city’s historic charm and supportive community.

“Lakeland has a positive vibe and is so evidently up-and-coming––even adorable. I love it here,” she says. “We love serving the brides in this area and giving them an opportunity to experience a custom bridal shopping experience.”

“All of our designs are exclusive to the Lakeland area so we can best serve our clients with unique, different designs..”

– Shantel Griffin

In tandem with its romantic name, Elope Bride features designs that a bride can take home the same day––as opposed to some shops  that require an ample amount of time for preordering.

“Like anything, we always recommend for our brides to come in for their appointment at least six months in advance if they’re seeking size and color changes. But for the brides in a time crunch, we do carry a variety of beautiful gowns they can take home the same day depending on what they’re looking for and able to fit into,” she further explains.

The shop features an array of bridal gowns ranging in prices of $2,000 and under. They pride themselves in being size inclusive, with a selection of bridal dresses available in sizes 2-24. Special ordering for sizes in the 30s is available, as well. They also have in-house alterations accessible for their brides.

While they currently see 20 brides a week on average, it is always recommended for clients to call ahead of time and make reservations to ensure a consultant is dedicated to their experience. All appointments are complimentary up to 90 minutes with no fee. Brides typically bring up to five guests on the weekends during consultations.

Parking is available behind their building along with city parking available half a block away.

Elope Bride

947 Florida Ave. S.

(863) 338-0410